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Floating agriculture: a potential cleaner production technique

Thursday, 25 May 2017 Read 206 times Written by 

Floating agriculture: a potential cleaner production technique for climate change adaptation and sustainable community development in Bangladesh

Rubel Biswas Chowdhury*, Graham A. Moore

Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

 

Abstract

Global climate change is anticipated to intensify the vulnerability of Bangladesh (a low-lying country formed by the alluvial plain of the Ganges-Brahmaputra river systems) to floods and waterlogging, and therefore, the country needs to  be equipped with adequate adaptation  strategies,  particularly  those based on traditional knowledge and locally available materials. In this paper, we present a systematic and in-depth review of existing literature to examine the possibilities of indigenous floating agriculture as a technique for climate change adaptation and sustainable community development in Bangladesh. Our review indicates that the indigenous floating agriculture holds enough potential to help farming com- munities in the flood prone regions of Bangladesh to sustain lives and livelihoods during floods and long- term waterlogged conditions. This technique has a unique quality of providing a wide range of agri- cultural, environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits, which ultimately render it as an envi- ronmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially viable practice. Case studies on a number of promotional and experimental floating agriculture projects in different regions of Bangladesh revealed that the floating agriculture greatly supported farming communities to adapt to adverse waterlogged conditions by allowing vegetable production for daily consumption, income generation, community mobilization, and by increasing land-holding capacity. Along with providing food and nutrition security, this technique also strengthened the community capacity to grow and sustain agricultural practices in the subsequent floods and waterlogging conditions. Although this technique has a number of sustain- ability challenges as highlighted in this study, many of these are possible to overcome through proper planning and long-term management initiatives. We recommend policy implications and future research needs that could be effectively utilized to render this technique as a suitable tool for climate change adaptation and sustainable community development in Bangladesh.

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

* Corresponding author. Room 419, Level 4, Engineering Block D, Department of

Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Tel.:  þ61404333024  (mobile),  þ61383446808  (office).

E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (R.B. Chowdhury).

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

 

Journal of Cleaner Production

j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w . e l s e v i e r . c o m / l o c a t e / j c l e p r o

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.060

0959-6526/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

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